Isla Saona or Saona Island, located within the protected Dominican Republic's national park of the East, is a special destination that deserves a visit.
The small island's lagoon, which has been called the "Pearl" of the Caribbean coast, is sheltered from the winds, and plays host to many migratory birds and other protected protected wildlife.
With an area of just 130 square kilometers, in true 'paradise island' fashion Saona island is still encircled by marvellous, creamy-white, fine sandy beaches dotted with majestic palm trees.
The trip to the island takes about two hours by tourist boat or catamaran. Thankfully the island itself does not have any real tourist infrastructure -- which assists in maintaining its pristine and unspoilt beauty. That said, its two small fishing villages being reached only by boat, and its fine beaches do receive many visitors throughout the year.
Visiting Isla Saona: Here's and idea...
If you have time on your Dominican vacation, especially if based within the South eastern area of La Hispaniola, then you could call to Bayahibe and hire the services of local skipper, with his fishing boat, for a day, perhaps for around a price of 1,500 pesos (that is about US$40, GB£25 or 30€ -- in the last qurter of of 2010) and set sail for the island yourselves -- rather than being tied to an organized 'trip'. This would allow you more freedom and time to decide when and where to take your picnic, and when to set-off for return home! A small price for a more individual experience of la Isla -- without doubt a 'pearl' that garnishes the Caribbean 'gem' that is the Dominican Republic.
Some more great scenes that include a look at Isla Saona: